What to put on a child's chapped lips

Updated July 19, 2017

Chapped lips are no fun, and for kids, they can cause lips to be sore and even bleed. Keeping kids' lips moisturised can be challenging, but by using some home remedies and staying diligent, chapped lips can be eased and soothed. Chapped lips often become worse in cold weather, making the winter months especially hard on kids' with chapped lips.

Lip Balm

Start by talking with older toddlers about ways they can help stop their lips from being so chapped. Dr. Alan Greene, MD, FAAP, suggests explaining to kids how licking their lips make their chapped lips worse. By really making an effort to not lick their lips when they feel dry, but to instead apply lip balm, kids can help their dry cracked lips.

Provide the children with a plain non-flavoured or scented lip balm they can carry around in their pocket. Most lip balms are petroleum based and safe for children to use. Talk to other parents and teachers that the child interacts with during the day to help encourage the child to use the lip balm and also monitor their use of the lip balm.

Petroleum Jelly

When the child is at home, according to, applying a warm washcloth to lips and then slathering a good layer of petroleum jelly to the child's lips will help soothe and helm the chapped lips. The petroleum jelly will create a layer over the lips that won't taste really great to children, but wont hurt them. This will help keep saliva from getting to the chapped lips and help them to heal. Along with healing lips, it may help stop habitual lip lickers to stop their habit.

Hydrocortisone Cream

For chapped lips that won't heal, treat with an over the counter hydrocortisone cream. Most one-per cent-hydrocortisone creams are available over the counter and are available at many stores. Talk with the pharmacist or contact your doctor to discuss any questions or concerns you may have about the severity of the child's chapped lips.

Dr. Greene also suggests using a humidifier in the child's room to help add some extra moisture into the air and help heal chapped lips. Making sure children are drinking enough water will also ensure they are staying hydrated and aide in healing.

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About the Author

Sarah Lipoff has been writing since 2008. She has been published through BabyZone, Parents, Funderstanding and Lipoff has worked as a K-12 art teacher, museum educator and preschool teacher. She holds a Bachelor of Science in K-12 art education from St. Cloud State University.